Ingenui-Tea

What would you talk about over tea with a friend? Reading, crafting, and odd ball occurrences in an otherwise mundane world

How not to lose your sanity during the holidays when you have kids

I have two very rambunctious children who are quite inventive when it comes to mischief, so I often feel like they’re overwhelming me just by the very act of them being children and me being a logical, quiet-loving introvert. 

Two weeks off for winter vacation means we’re all together all the time, this year for 17 days straight. During that time, expectations of Christmas are very high and the fact that the kids don’t get a break from one another really starts to wear on them as well. The sibling fighting begins over who is sitting where, when, or which toy is being played with by whom at whatever moment. 

Here’s how I manage to keep my sanity…

  1. Don’t care too much about the state of the house. If company is coming over, of course it’s clean up time, but EVERYONE has to help. 
  2. If children fight over a specific toy it goes away for a time out unless they can come to an agreement on how it will be played with by themselves. 
  3. Tire the children out as much as possible every day. Normally I’m a pretty lax parent when it comes to making my kids be active. But when they’re home together I seriously need one or both to take a nap or take some down time or something in the middle of the day. 
  4. Don’t try to plan too many meals. If I can get one good meal in a day for my kids I’m doing well over break.  Today they had oatmeal for breakfast and eggs on toast for a late morning snack. They then tend to snack on various things throughout the day. Since I can barely get my daughter to eat a fruit I give her V-8 Fusion. The boy will snack on apples and carrots and tortillas. 
  5. Most importantly, remember that the break from school will end and you’ll get back into a normal routine. 

Teaching

I am actively thinking about things I can do to help my kids learn more patience. Does anyone have any ideas? I think I might have the kids start cooking with me each night, but I feel like I’m going to have to make lesson plans that get them into it, too. They don’t want to slow down to see it done right, they just want to dump things in a pot and stir it. This parenting stuff is hard work. 

Because I am delving into this again, I have been looking at ways that not just parrot knowledge, but actually allow efficacy to develop. It’s part of what is wrong with the education system and the more I look into it, the more I don’t think that all those home-schoolers are crazy cranks that just want to teach their kids just the things they believe.  It seems, through my minimal research I’ve done so far, that you actually do have time to allow your kids to explore topics in a satisfying way to them, instead of having to go along with the herd. 

What happens when your child/ren don’t meet the assembly line bench marks is demoralizing at best. As a teacher, I’m ashamed of myself for having lectured so much. But, in my defense, that’s how I was taught and teacher training provided no real alternative ideas of how to get large ideas across in a social studies/history setting. All I can say is that I’m glad that I am reading the things I am now in order to better serve my kids and any others I may teach in the future. 

I’ve read about Waldorf education in the past week and I really like their idea of  self-made books of study. Granted, you need to be able to explore things yourself or have a great guide if you’re not familiar with the materials yourself, but inquiry based learning is so much more  able to speak to the natural inquisitiveness of most kids. 

Babysitting

Heh! I needed some babysitting tomorrow and when I asked I totally used the upselling of my kids. I called them my little angels. Normally I would call them my little hooligans. But yay! It worked!

On another note, I really need to find an on-call babysitter around here. 

Morning struggles

I can’t say that all mornings are full of pain and irritation, but there’s usually at least one dawdle too long or refuse to get dressed moment with my daughter. So when I saw the article titled how to fix your child’s attitude, of course I had to read it. To be blatantly honest, I know I am a grumpy ole momma bear in the morning. I’d sleep until 10 every morning if I could, but the 7 or 7:30 wake ups and trying to herd cats while I’d rather be in bed sets my fuse a going. 

There’s some very sensible advice in there, alas, a lot of our stumbling between the girlchild and I is about time and being on time, because to me it shows respect and even sometimes love if you are timely. But I also know I ask her to give me time to do things, and I ask a lot from her about not poking in the morning. 

As always, this sort of article sets my momma brain in motion and I thought it would be a good idea to put down some things that were going through it for reference later on… 

An open letter to my daughter to help with life…

1. I love how passionate you are about life. I hope you always feel that way, but if you need a reminder, pick up a pen and some paper and doodle out your feelings. You always seem to be engaged and excited when you do that at 6 years old. 

2. If your desire for me to see all the cool things you do is any indication, you’ll likely want to be recognized for your work as an adult. Pick a career or profession where you can get a lot of recognition and you’ll probably be happier. 

3. Being able to read well is incredibly important in life. It  just makes life easier. I know you find it hard to do now, but you will get better and when you do, your natural intelligence will come blazing through to everyone. You are a very smart person.

4. Stick to dance. You’ll be happy you did when you get older. You’ll have all the cool moves at school dances and clubs when you go.  

5. Later on you’re going to want to do grown up things even though you aren’t yet. Resist the temptation to make grown up decisions until you are older. As I tell you even now, just because someone else is doing it, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do. 

Most important… I love you so very much! 

And then it hit me

It’s that time of year, we have lots of birthdays and everyone starts thinking more about the holidays. So today, while I was perusing the greeting card section, I started to well up with tears. 

Fall is a natural time to think about passing. There are visible signs around us that the year is getting old and going into the death cycle. 

I miss my dad. Most days it’s tolerable, but as I was looking at cards for dads from their kids, it slammed me in the face. There was no stopping the tears slipping down my face. I tried to discreetly wipe them away and face a different direction when some people came near me, mostly because I wouldn’t want to have to explain why I was crying over birthday cards if someone decided to ask. 

We’ve also had Peter’s dad pass on from us in the last year, and I know his birthday that is coming up is going to be hard for all of us, because the firsts always are the absolute worst. 

A very wise lady I know told me, after I lost my dad, that it had been many years and she missed her own as much that day as she did the day he died. I find that knowing that ahead of time has made it a little easier to deal with overall. 

Whether the loved one you’ve lost ( and I’m only talking loved ones, not supposed to be loved ones) was in pain and suffering and is maybe in a better place, I think that most people think at one time or another that they wish the person was back with them, in a healthy state or in spirit, in order to see what’s been going on in their lives.  I sure wish my dad could see mine. I think he’d be very glad of his grandchildren. 

Trying not to squelch the individual

You know that person that everyone gets annoyed with because they tell you the same thing over and over again? Yes, I get it, I heard you the first 4 times you said it… 

So maybe it’s just me, or that could be an annoying trait to a lot of people, but I have a hard time with it because I have a daughter who does that. I do not want to form exactly who she is, but because I have a hard time wanting to be around people who do that, I also worry that she will face social consequences of being overly jubilant and talkative about one thing over and over again, day in and day out. 

If you don’t know what I mean, I’ll give you an example. She lost her first front tooth and for at least a month afterward, every day, or every time she saw someone, she brought it up that she had lost her tooth. It got to the point a few days in that a little friend turned to her and said, “oh no, not that again. I know you lost your tooth. You told me yesterday, and the day before, and the day before. Can you stop talking about it?”  I think that might have helped with her not talking to that particular person about it, but everyone less assertive about not wanting to hear it had to suffer. 

Part of me knows that the social collective conscious will work it all out, but the mom in me wants to protect my loving, giving, exuberant girlchild from being hurt by people wanting her to stifle her own excitement about things. 

That girl o mine is also a complete magpie. She picks up bits and bobs from everywhere and frankly I don’t want her found treasure that she then attempts to hand out as treasured gifts of love. BUT, to her, the picked up bits of detritus are tokens of love and when someone refuses her offering, she gets sad. I’m trying to convince her that a kind word or a hug is a great way to get around the thing giving, but not everyone wants hugs or even to hear that she loves them, and knowing that makes me sad.

She is so full of love. I am so proud of that. I really hope she finds an even keel on how to express her excitement and love in ways that  aren’t obnoxious or untoward, because if she doesn’t, she might have that socially convinced out of her. 

Photo Stolen from Jill Danseco. 
Egads, we have been out of high school for 20 years! 
Tiffany, Karen, Bruce, Jill, Ron, Tamara, Kenny, Jason, Hason, Steve, Jodi, and Han
Sporran received from GrannyChickadee

Sporran received from GrannyChickadee

Getting ready for summer
Cherry tree buds